I stayed up all night, scouring the internet to find perfect pictures for my PowerPoint. I chose my words carefully, ensuring that each slide flowed seamlessly into the next. I was excited and sure the students would be too! It might not be the most exciting topic but I chose great visuals that would surely capture their attention and of course I am a charismatic and entertaining teacher so what wouldn’t they love? I even practiced presenting the lesson alone before they arrived. This would be a hit for sure!
I introduced the topic as I passed out papers, up came a hand that didn’t wait to be called on:
“Mr. Micek, can I pass those out?”
“Sure Javarey… as I was saying.”
Another hand, “Mr. Micek, can I run the clicker?”
“I got it Zaquesha, thanks…. as I was saying….,”
“Mr. Micek, are we going to do a lab today?”
“There is no lab today JaCor, please hold your questions until the end of the lesson.”
An exasperated sigh was heard from what seemed like all thirty students simultaneously and pencils hit the desks as students dropped them in disappointment. Eyes were diverted towards the windows, the irritating noise of restless feet, shuffling papers, and whispered conversations, I had lost them already. How!? I hadn’t even begun my lesson yet!
The students may not have learned a lesson that day, but I certainly did. Students want to DO things: pass out papers, operate the computer, converse, do experiments, et cetera. However, one thing they do NOT want to do is sit passively and listen to me talk! A bit of a sting to this realization, I mean who wouldn’t want to sit and listen to me for 90 minutes straight?
Herein lies the challenge for teachers, and an area where the SMS program can help. Students do need to be able to sit and listen, but the more we can incorporate DOING into our teaching, the happier and more engaged students will be, the more they will learn, and thus the happier us teachers will be too!